Posted: 9:22 pm Sunday, July 31st, 2016
By Jamie Dupree
Donald Trump’s weekend of barbs at both the father and mother of a Muslim U.S. soldier was who was killed in Iraq drew condemnation not only from Democrats, but also from top Republicans in Congress, as Trump found himself on the defensive again from inside the GOP.
“Captain Khan was an American hero,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who was joined by Speaker Paul Ryan in making very clear their displeasure with the GOP standard bearer.
“Many Muslim Americans have served valiantly in our military, and made the ultimate sacrifice,” said Ryan in a separate statement.
“Captain Khan was one such brave example. His sacrifice—and that of Khizr and Ghazala Khan—should always be honored. Period,” Ryan added.
Khan’s father, Khzir made the rounds on the Sunday talk shows, repeatedly denouncing Trump, telling CNN that Trump has a “black soul.”
Other Republicans also joined their leaders in a rebuke of Trump.
No one should criticize grieving parents who have lost a son in combat. Capt. Khan was an American hero.
— Sen. Susan Collins (@SenatorCollins) July 31, 2016
“This is so incredibly disrespectful of a family that endured the ultimate sacrifice for our country,” tweeted former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
“I am appalled that Donald Trump would disparage them and that he had the gall to compare his sacrifices to that of a Gold Star family,” said Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH).
Democrats not only condemned Trump, but they also reminded top Republicans that they are backing the real estate mogul in November.
Delete. Your. Account. https://t.co/TqHgYVR22N
— ((David Cicilline)) (@davidcicilline) July 31, 2016
As for Trump, he wasn’t backing down.
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) July 30, 2016
I was viciously attacked by Mr. Khan at the Democratic Convention. Am I not allowed to respond? Hillary voted for the Iraq war, not me!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 31, 2016
Late on Sunday though, Trump’s running mate released a statement that seemed to be an effort at damage control:
“Donald Trump and I believe that Captain Humayun Khan is an American hero and his family, like all Gold Star families, should be cherished by every American.
Captain Khan gave his life to defend our country in the global war on terror. Due to the disastrous decisions of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, a once stable Middle East has now been overrun by ISIS. This must not stand.
By suspending immigration from countries that have been compromised by terrorism, rebuilding our military, defeating ISIS at its source and projecting strength on the global stage, we will reduce the likelihood that other American families will face the enduring heartbreak of the Khan family.
Donald Trump will support our military and their families and we will defeat the enemies of our freedom.”
– Governor Mike Pence
Meanwhile on Monday morning, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) weighed in with his own rebuke of Trump:
Full McCain statement on Trump and the Khans. It's exactly what should've been said by every Republican this weekend pic.twitter.com/QMdaTCKTQL
— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) August 1, 2016
About the Author
Jamie Dupree is the Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau of the Cox Media Group and writes the Washington Insider blog. A native of Washington, D.C., Jamie has covered Congress and politics in the nation’s capital since the Reagan Administration, and has been reporting for Cox since 1989.